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The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: New Player: What to get? rss

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Gladys Wallflower
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I know absolutely nothing about this TCG at the moment but I've always been drawn to trying the LOTR tcg out myself. I noticed that there is a ton of starter decks. I know the starter decks contain everything to play a game (at least, I hope so).

I'm deciding to get the "Battle of Helm's Deep" decks, the Legolas deck and the Eowyn deck. That way I can play with another person. I'm assuming it's okay to play with both of these decks in one single game?

My confusion comes with the concept of "Free Peoples" and "Shadow" cards. From what I'm reading on wikipedia, each player plays the role of both "Free Peoples" and "Shadow." So this means starter decks contain both Free Peoples and Shadow cards? Basically, I'm asking because I want to be able to properly play once I receive my starter decks, ie I don't have to buy other certain starter decks?

I know I sound confused. I just glanced over the game basics really quickly. Thanks!
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Todd Warnken
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Welcome to BGG. It's been a long time since I played the game.

Both players have a deck that is one half shadow cards and one fellowship cards In addition you have a copy of Frodo (other ringbearers were introduced in a special set) and a deck of nine location cards. One player will start and play his fellowship cards paying the cost into the shadow pool. The shadow player then uses this pool to play his cards. When a player moves to new location the other player plays the appropriate location card.
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Zach S
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Yes, two starter decks will be enough to play the game. I mean, technically a starter deck doesn't have quite enough cards to make a legal constructed deck, but that pretty much only means you wouldn't be able to play it in a tournament (and you'd have a pretty hard time finding an LotR tournament nowadays anyway).

The starter decks are designed to allow you to play a game. (You will, of course, need one deck per player.) You'll be a couple of cards short of being "legal," but you'll still get to try the game out.

For example, I believe your Helm's Deep decks come with 25 Free Peoples cards and 24 Shadow cards. TECHNICALLY, you're supposed to have 30 of each, but if you're just starting out, those 11 missing cards won't stop you from playing the game.
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Russell InGA
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To expound a little further...

Two off-the-shelf Starter Decks will allow you (& a second player) to play a game. (As suggested in some of the rules, for the first game or two you might want to play to only Site 7.) Unless you are able to inter-universe shift where there are LotR-TCG tourneys still, the "legality" of the starter is not going to be a problem. (As long as both players are using relatively unmodified starter decks.)

When considering different starter decks please consider the information in the following thread:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/747003/lotr-tcg-blocks

The starters from Two Towers play pretty easily. If you get Return decks, you are going to have to understand the rules for Threat.

The following represents my opinion on this question. I realize that "in theory" the reverse works find and "is allowed" in some tournaments.

The cards from the different Blocks are designed to be used by Block. That means that you should be playing with Two Towers block cards against only Two Towers block cards.
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Gladys Wallflower
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Thanks for the advice everyone.

Is this game still played anywhere or is it generally unknown other than to loyal players? I actually met someone in my dorm last year who played the game extensively when he was younger, but no longer had his collection.

Also, are there any places that still sell LOTR packs and decks (I'm in the midwestern USA)? Some card stores do appear to sell older or less-known TCG's but of the privately owned comic book stores I've been to, I have never seen anybody sell LOTR. I think in the past there were some LOTR boosters (can't remember of which set) that were sold in Dollar Tree stores.

With the 2 starter decks I will be receiving, how will I know which cards to add to them, having no knowledge of any cards from other sets? From glancing on wikipedia, it appears that there are at least 20 different sets, overwhelming for a new player like me.

I'm not really interested in collecting, but rather, finding certain cards that would allow me to have at least a well "thought-out" deck.
 
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Zach S
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The game lost a lot of popularity after the third block, and a lot of people (including those who post on BGG) agree that the game will be plenty enjoyable if you just stick to sets 1-10. There's plenty of stuff there that will allow you to make a well thought-out deck.

As Russel said, you can do block-play if you want (i.e., Two Towers cards only against other Two Towers cards), but I think it's a little misleading to say that cards are "designed only to be used by block." That's not true. The tournament format that Decipher most heavily supported was Standard format, which allowed multiple blocks to be played together at once, meaning they definitely designed the cards knowing that they'd be mixed together.

That being said, block play can still be fun, and you could certainly have a good time doing just that. If anything, it will make deckbuilding easier, as you've got a smaller pool of cards from which to draw.

As far as finding packs and decks goes . . . well, the game is out of print, and has been for a long time. So anything you find will just have to be what people had left over. I'd recommend eBay--that may be your best bet.
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Andrew Rice
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"The Last Homely House" is probably the best place to find out more about the game, including a Database of ALL the cards.

http://lotrtcgdb.com/forums/

TLHH also has a Trade Forum: "Esgaroth Marketplace"

http://lotrtcgdb.com/forums/index.php?PHPSESSID=u0ntpagdusf8...

Alternately Trade Cards Online also has a searchable database, and a few traders...

http://www.tradecardsonline.com/

If you're looking for a bunch of mint Commons and Uncommons, lemme know -- you can have 'em from me for the price of shipping
 
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Andrew Rice
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There are a BUNCH of cards for sale in the BGG Marketplace right now:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geekstore.php3?action=viewitem&...
 
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